Sex Snobs heads in new direction without losing its punch 

click to enlarge Sex-Snobs-Barnard-and-Hammontree-PROVIDED.jpg

One listen to Oklahoma City alternative rock quartet Sex Snob’s 2015 release Pop Songs and Other Ways to Die and it becomes clear that this musical onslaught lends itself easily to the adjectives “forceful” and “aggressive,” but in no way is it “violent.”

This band’s weapons are volume and melody, and the album’s songs are unleashed for the purpose of enjoyment and energy rather than pain. While listening, there is little warning for any upcoming track; the first note, or in some instances, noise, sends the bars of your music player’s equalizer straight into the red.

When listening to Sex Snobs, you’ll find no doubt about the authenticity of its sound. Its next show is Friday at Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave., in Norman.

The band members met during their high school years.

“[He] and I began playing together at age 16,” said bassist James Hammontree, 28, of vocalist and guitarist Alex Barnard, 28.

They met guitarist Daniel Weaver, 29, and drummer Billy Reid, 25, through mutual friends during that time.

In 2010, the musicians came together and formed Chud. Hammontree said though Chud’s lineup was identical to today’s Sex Snobs, their sound was drastically different.

“We were noisier, harder and aggressive, intonal and angular,” he said. “Back then, we were listening to a lot of Melvins, Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes.”

The intensity and speed of post-hardcore outfits Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes still influence the act’s sound, and elements of the Melvins jagged, sludge-metal sound can be heard on Sex Snobs’ first album, 2013’s Lonely.

Chud disbanded near the end of 2012, and Barnard and Hammontree moved to San Francisco. During the one and a half years they lived there, they began the Sex Snobs project and recorded Lonely with a drummer they were working with at the time.

“We wanted to experience living in a different place,” Hammontree said. “We wanted to live in a major city with a lot of art and music.”

On Lonely, the crossroads between Chud and Sex Snobs can be heard. The sludge and lyrical impact of bands such as the Melvins can be sensed at times, while the volume and intensity of Sex Snobs is readily apparent.

Expenses led the duo back to Oklahoma City and, through an initial rotation of band members, back full circle to Weaver and Reid.

The title Pop Songs and Other Ways to Die isn’t misleading. Compared to past recordings, the album’s tracks have instrumental and vocal hooks meant to draw you in.

“We have gotten into more melodic and catchier stuff,” Hammontree said. “We’re writing poppier songs and lyrics but still maintain a lot of noisy stuff and crazy sounds, but something you can hum to.”

The band will be recording with legendary audio engineer Steve Albini at Electrical Audio studios in Chicago next January. The tracks will be used for a future album with cover art provided by Steak Mtn.

For more information, visit sexsnobs.bandcamp.com.

Print headline: Snob attack, Sex Snobs’ new album leads the band in a new direction without losing its punch.

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